Turmoil as Operation Dudula group gives companies 7-day deadline to remove illegal foreigners

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Members of Operation Dudula in Cape Town have told six factories in Witsand, outside Atlantis, they had seven days to remove illegal immigrants allegedly working in their businesses.

About 150 members marched to factories on Wednesday to hand over a memorandum including a demand that they remove the immigrants as their employees.

They said that failing to do so, they will rope in the relevant law enforcement agencies or the Department Home Affairs to enforce their immigration policy.

“If an illegal foreigner is found on any premises where a business is conducted, it shall be presumed that such foreigner was employed by the person who has control over such premises, unless prima facie evidence to the contrary is adduced,” read the memorandum.

Operation Dudula member Nkululeko Watermayer said they wanted to “reclaim back jobs”.

“Our people are not working and they are unemployed, yet our factories are employing foreigners. Small businesses in our communities are also owned by them; the rate of crime is high,” he said.

Labelled by some as “xenophobic and dangerous”, the group says its mission is to “reclaim all buildings hijacked by illegal foreigners, close down all drug peddlers destroying the youth, and reclaim the city to its rightful owners”.

PC Revalidation managing director Dale Lewis said the group visited the factory and insisted that it stop employing “illegal” immigrants and rather develop South African youth.
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“They came to our business a few weeks ago, there were about ten of them. They gave us a letter insisting that we stop employing illegal immigrants and develop South African youth. I was horrified.

“This time there were about 150 people, they gave our production manager about 50 CVs and another memorandum. The Dudula leader group is horribly misinformed and should be embarrassed by their selection of our business for their protest. We do not employ illegal immigrants.

“Of the approximately 42 staff we have, six foreign nationals we have all have papers allowing them legal employment in South Africa. We only employ people living in the greater Atlantis, Mamre/Witsand area and the business is 80% black women-owned.

“We promote learning and have had engineers completing their engineering diplomas by doing their in-service training in our business. We believe this is the best we can do to develop South African youth within the financial constraints of our business. The foreign nationals that we employ all live in and contribute to the community,“ he said.

Lewis said the business reserved the right to employ anyone who is legally allowed to be employed in South Africa.

“We will seek relief from the courts should any further attempts be made to intimidate our staff. Lastly, we welcome any legal audit by any recognised government department of our employment practices.”

— Cape Times


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